My workplace is really big on doing up every life event for its employees. Baby showers, funeral flowers, birthdays, going away parties - the works. I'm the sort of person that likes to maintain solid work/life boundaries. I care about my co-workers, and it's touching that they care about me too - but I struggle with knowing how to ask that we maintain healthy boundaries. I somehow managed to escape any hoopla for my 30th birthday - perhaps because I was only there for less than a year when that event occurred. However, today I had to address the issue of a baby shower head on. Awkward.
Beth and I couldn't possibly be more thrilled to be having our first daughter. What a joy God has granted us! He answered our most fervent prayers and the deepest desires of our heart. Our lives will be forever changed. But, as far as material things go, we have everything we could possibly need. And as far as parties go, the lower key the better. Beth's closest friends are going to do something really nice for her, and that's really exciting for us. But, for my workplace to do something for Beth and have people who don't really know her feel obligated to come and bring gifts just seems wrong to me. Even if they think they want to, it makes me very uncomfortable. Am I just overly sensitive? Is this the sort of thing I should just shut-up and bear, knowing that the intentions are good? Or is it better for me to have been honest like I was and spoil their fun by putting the kabosh on it early? How do you kindly let people know that the way they like to express caring towards you isn't really all that caring in your eyes? Is it better to just fake it - to pretend they're accomplishing their goal all the while having the opposite impact? That somehow doesn't seem right to me - if their intention is to show caring, isn't it less selfish to express how you really feel knowing you're disappointing them versus hiding the fact and just going along with it with the intent to show them caring back?